How Do Eskimos Live in Modern Times?

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The Inuit people of Alaska, known by many throughout the world as Eskimos, incorporate both traditional and modern components into their lifestyle. For example, while the Inuit continue to hunt for sustenance, they supplement their diet with food products purchased at grocery stores. They wear a combination of clothing purchased at department stores and traditional mittens and boots.

Prior to the arrival of white settlers, the Inuit lived in snow huts during the winter and in a tent-like structure called a tupik during the summer. Most Inuit in modern times live in houses equipped with the usual amenities. While modern Inuit people continue to speak their native language, Inuktitut, they are forced to derive new words for many things as technology advances, presenting new products and concepts. Many Inuit people speak English as well.

The traditional methods of Inuit transportation are still in use: kayaking, walking and dog sledding. However, Inuit also drive cars and trucks and own and operate motorized watercraft. The Inuit enjoy all kinds of sports, with hockey being a favorite. Prior to the arrival of Christians, the Inuit practiced a shamanistic spiritual belief system. Many Inuit are Christian, but a number of them continue to practice shamanism.